|03-05-2014 07:25 PM|
I raised my first pup in Europe (limited leash regulation) and my second in the US (leash laws out the ying-yang). The best approach seems to be somewhere in the middle -- limited leash restrictions, but draconian fines/potential criminal prosecution, should your dog injure another dog/human. Leash laws in and of themselves are no substitute for irresponsible ownership.
Case in point: as a starry-eyed new owner/law-abiding citizen, I researched all the off-leash dog parks in the area, before I brought the pup home and took her to the best-reviewed one, once she had all her shots. (We live in an urban area, with very limited off-leash space.) In one month, we've had not one, but three, unprovoked attacks by dog-aggressive animals that could have ended badly, had I not intervened. One of the "seasoned" park-goers told me, "Oh, we just know to keep away from certain dogs." At that point, I started looking at private dog clubs (expensive, I know, but presumably the dogs there are temperament-tested.) Except, there are none I could find within driving distance.
What we do now -- I wake up at 5:30 every morning and take her to a secluded park, so she can run around, while it's empty. Same thing in the evenings, after dark (which, coincidentally, has my family worried for MY safety, as a small-ish female). On the weekends, I drive 2-6 hours round trip, to take her someplace (beach, off-leash hiking trails), where she can roam. She has fantastic recall and zero aggression issues.
My point is, if the leash-laws were curtailed, but Fifi's owner knew that they'd be on the hook for thousands of dollars in fines/possible jail time, if their little darling bites someone/injures another dog, we'd be a lot safer as a community.
*Getting off my soapbox*
|03-04-2014 04:44 PM|
We have Geneva State Park -- on lead. The Jefferson Village Park -- on lead. I don't go to these places, unless I want to leash up my dogs. There is a little ford where some unsavory characters hang out, and I have taken dogs down there, but it is kind of spooky. If someone else has a dog down there, I hook mine up and come away, because I don't want there to be any problems.
Mostly, I go to the fairgrounds, typically when there aren't any events. They house horses there, and people train for harness racing. I stay away from that area. And I will play with the less well trained dog along inside the fence. Or go across the road in the fields over there, it is county property, and I am not trespassing, until some cop tells me that I am.
I go to playgrounds, but if kids come, I generally leave. I do not want parents worrying that the big bad GSD will eat their children.
Mostly I walk off-lead with the well-trained dogs (one at a time), up town, through the village streets, on the sidewalks and in parking lots. This is perfectly legal, so long as the dog is under my control.
|03-04-2014 04:38 PM|
In the states, there are very few areas (even huge areas) where dogs are allowed off leash. In most places, dog parks are the only places where a dog is legally allowed to be off leash.
Like a poster mentioned...even the national parks don't allow off-lead dogs. And the park I go to...is 500 acres, doesn't technically allow off-lead dogs. I run into a dog at that park MAYBE once every three trips. But its still illegal for me to have my dog off-lead there.
The only place where you could legally walk your dog off-lead would be private land, and unless you have permission of the land owner, you'd be trespassing.
We have, at one point or another, had way too many irresponsible owners with their untrained dogs, do something stupid and so localities have set up ordinances to protect people. I guess even 30-40 years ago, dogs used to roam around the neighborhood. People started allowing aggressive/dangerous dogs to do this, problems occurred. Leash laws were instituted. Now...even those of us who are responsible, can't do anything with our dogs without the fear of either getting caught by the proper authorities, or getting reported to the proper authorities even though we aren't bothering anyone or causing anyone trouble.
|03-04-2014 04:37 PM|
|David Taggart||In my past, and pretty often, I proved to be a people-agressive individual every time I walked my male, met unleashed snorkelings and treated dog owners as equals. Until I realized that I'm training my dog, then everything that surrounded us turned into one mess of distractions.|
|03-04-2014 04:08 PM|
|03-04-2014 04:06 PM|
|Harry and Lola|
|03-04-2014 04:00 PM|
|Harry and Lola||
For people that choose to walk their dog off-lead why don't you find a large off-lead area and walk around that.
Your dog will be off lead, you will be happy because your dog is off lead and you can choose to allow him to heel or the freedom to wander sniffing around.
This is what I do when I want Lola and Harry to enjoy the freedom of trotting at their pace enjoying the smells and sights without being right next to me ---- I found a large off lead area that I walk around and they happily trot at their pace, sometimes with me, sometimes ahead of me, sometimes behind me.
And I am operating within the confines of our laws
And I am not impacting on people walking their dogs on lead in on lead areas
If we all disregard a law that we don't agree with, or don't want to live by, or think it doesn't really apply to us then what will society become - pretty scary in my thinking
|03-04-2014 04:00 PM|
About 6 years ago, I had a litter of pups that were beyound 10 weeks old, and I still had 5 of them. So I got my friend, my brother in law, and my sister to each take a pup to training classes, I took one to the class they were in, and put the other in basic.
Anyhow, my sister had this pained look on her face, and said she feels so sorry for Pinkie. I asked why? She said, because she is in being trained.
Why is that a bad thing?
I think you're right, some people feel it will break a dog's spirit or hurt their feelings.
|03-04-2014 03:56 PM|
Untrained dogs is a huge problem.
If people would work with a dog to the point of even a Rally Novice (not rocket science and in some ways easier than a CGC for some dogs), the would be far less likely to dump the dog when they have to move, or when the get pregnant, or when the dog no longer matches the furniture. Suddenly you are buying furniture to match your dog, and you are considering the dog in you employment options, etc.
People who have never done it, are terribly intimidated by it. Trust me when I say, if I can do it, anybody can. Well, that is not so. Some dogs would be totally freaked out by the show atmosphere. If I had a dog like that, I would find some other venue to train the dog in, or train to the point where he could manage all the obstacles, but never take the dog to a show.
A dog that will freak out at a show though, probably shouldn't be off leash in any public place, for its own safety as well as others'.
If you can teach your dog to follow you, to heel on a lead, to sit, down, come front, and finish, you can get an RN. It is easier for some dogs than a CGC, because no one is going to touch your dog. No one will look in its ears, and handle its paws, brush its back pet its head. And there is not long stay, no reaction to another dog, and no supervised separation.
The CGC is a one trip in front of the evaluator to pass. So you do not have to do it three times, to get a title by a couple of different judges, but it is more evasive, even than the CD.
The CD has other challenges than the CGC or the RN. The dog has to heel on lead and off lead. The dog has to heel around two stewards who are not going to touch your dog. The dog has to sit in a row with other dogs for a minute and not break its stay. And down in a row with other dogs for 3 minutes and not break its stay. The dog must STAND, off lead, while the Judge comes up and touches the head, back, and rump of the dog. It needs to STAY and RECALL, and you really cannot tell the dog multiple times to do a thing, which actually promotes good training and makes success a bit easier overall -- kind of a problem with Rally.
But RNs, CGCs, CDs, all of these are really not that hard to achieve. If people could choose one of them, depending on their and their dog's temperament. Some people have a hard time with the signs and unpredictable order/type of signs used in Rally, and would do better with a CD. Some people are not going to get the supervised separation in a CGC, not any time soon. But a RN for such a dog might be very doable.
If they would just train their dog to that novice level, a LOT of the dog-related problems would go bye bye.
For one thing, when you train, once a week in a class for several classes in preparation to one of these goals, you meet other dog people. People talk about their dogs, problems, ideas about raising and maintaining dogs. Unless you walk through the class with earphones jamming, you will learn stuff. You will overhear people saying what an idiot the neighbor is, she lets her dog out at night to go potty, and it got hit by a car. And maybe you think, "ooh, I kind of let mine out the front door for a few minutes at night to go potty, they think that's really irresponsible, and dangerous, I am not going to do that anymore."
But mostly, training the dog to the level required for any of these things makes you develop a bond with your dog. A bond of trust going both ways. You will not let the dog off lead, because you know it has a problem with recall when there are distractions, and so forth. Your dog gains confidence in himself and in you.
The dog is a LOT easier to live with. It listens when you say, "eh-eh!" or "Quiet!" or "Enough!" Because you learned to train the dog in commands, enforce commands, and to reward the dog for the behaviors you want.
It is so unfortunate that people get a puppy, and at some point, be it 10 weeks or 10 months, take it through 6-8 weeks of training classes. The dog drags them into training classes, and at the end of 6 or 8 weeks, is getting the hang of SIT, STAY, COME, DOWN, and HEEL, but it still pulling most of the time, and is not 100% on any of it. Instead of signing up again, people go away either thinking their dog graduated, Yay! No more classes!, or thinking that their dog is not capable of any higher level of behavior. "Yeah, I took him to classes, but he just isn't that kind of dog." I suppose if people go into training with the idea of just taking class after class, they might not start at all.
A single set of classes can get you on the road to a well-behaved pet, and some people can go on from their on their own. But a lot of us need to go back to keep us honest so to speak -- too lazy maybe to get out there with the dog and keep on training, without the regular meetings. And, socialization doesn't happen in a vacuum, and classes are a great place to train with distractions. So those of us with the higher post counts, and the little letters after our dogs' names often continue to spend time in dog classes.
Ok, I'm rambling. TL, DR: I wish people would train their dogs to a novice level.
|03-04-2014 03:26 PM|
I have been told more then once the reason to not train is because "it hurts the dog's feelings".
Now this is just my personal opinion as I don't have any data to back it up but I think a lot of people don't put effort into training because they feel hurt and as failures if their beloved pooch doesn't respond almost immediately to the training. They take it personally, rather then view it as what you described earlier, a way to build a better relationship with their dog over time.
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